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Blue Bayou Movie Review

Blue Bayou Movie Review
It's easy for a movie like "Blue Bayou" to have you on its side. Deeply person and ethereal-looking thanks to its 16mm cinematography, this new release from actor-turned-filmmaker Justin Chon is about one man's life as an Asian-American, and the constant struggle he feels to justify his place in this country daily. "Bayou's" heart is in the right place, which makes it even more frustrating when Chon's screenwriting hiccups overshadow what is at stake throughout the movie.

When the movie opens, Antonio LeBlanc (Chon) is trying to get a second job because his wife Kathy (Alicia Vikander) is pregnant with their first child (Antonio is also the stepfather to Kathy's daughter Jessie, played by Sydney Kowalske). Antonio is desperate for more work, but he can easily sense that the man interviewing him has already made up his mind and isn't interested in what Antonio has to say. Antonio is covered in tattoos - he works at a tattoo parlor - and is politely pleading for work, but the man interviewing him only wants to know how he got his last name. Antonio, a Korean man who was adopted as a young boy, is constantly having to explain his existence.BB_body.jpg

Antonio's life is about to get much more stressful. One day while with his family in the grocery story, Kathy's police officer ex-husband Ace (Mark O'Brien) and his partner (Emory Cohen), approach Antonio, Kathy, and Jessie. Ace and Kathy begin arguing and Antonio tries to step in, but Ace's partner become aggressive and winds up arresting Antonio. The aftermath of this ordeal leaves Antonio with the threat of deportation due to a paperwork technicality, despite having been adopted and living in Louisiana for the past 30 years. He is no longer in contact with his adoptive parents, so it's up to Antonio to use any means necessary to find the money to fight for the only life he has ever known.

Immigration is always a hot topic in the political world, but "Blue Bayou" is not a political movie; it's a personal one, with a message everyone should hear over and over again. The issue here is that Chon gets in his own way as a writer, at times dialing up the melodrama to the point that the story feels over-the-top, when it could have stayed more focused. The inciting incident in the grocery store unfolds as a desperate bid to move the plot along, not to contribute to the story in an organic way.

It's hard to not be emotionally drawn in by Chon's performance, as he seems so exasperated from the outset of them movie. Imagine living your life always being questioned about your last name not fitting your appearance to a stranger's liking; Chon's performance gives us a glimpse of what that's like. As for Vikander, she has struggled to capitalize on the promising career she had when she won an Oscar for "The Danish Girl" and gave her best performance in "Ex Machina," both in 2015. She's a talented, open-hearted actress who continues to be given undervalued or underwritten roles.

"Blue Bayou" will be written off by some as just another message movie, but its story is an important one and worth hearing. There's enough innate drama in Antonio's life that some of the plot points didn't need to feel so manufactured to create more of an emotional response. But when "Blue Bayou" flirts with becoming manipulative, Chon's performance does its best to bring the focus back to what matters.

Blue Bayou Movie Review By Matthew Passantino
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Blue Bayou Movie Review Blue Bayou Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, September 18, 2021 Rating: 5

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